Respectful end-of-year celebrations: tips from Community Child Care Association

Respectful end-of-year celebrations: tips from Community Child Care Association

by Freya Lucas

December 07, 2021

In this piece, Kate Kent and Faye Sakaris from the Community Child Care Association pose questions for educators and providers to encourage thinking and discussion about how to “think beyond” Christmas to ensure that holiday inclusivity happens in your early childhood education and care (ECEC) service. 

 

Each family has their own culture that they bring with them to your service. What one family may value or believe in may be very different to the next, even if both are from the same cultural and linguistic background. 

 

For example, Christmas has different meanings for different people, depending on their values, experiences and beliefs. The same can be said about all celebrations and religious events.

 

This year, take some time to reflect on the diversity of children and families in your community so you can incorporate celebrations with sensitivity and respect.

 

Tips for making inclusive decisions about your end-of-year celebrations

 

  • Have you spoken to all your families about what they celebrate?

 

Consider: how can you engage families in this conversation? For example, through translated materials, questionnaires, informal discussions, etc.

 

  • Have you spoken to all your families about how they celebrate?

 

Consider: are you making assumptions about how families celebrate? Do all families celebrate the same event in the same way? Think about the many ways Christmas is celebrated. Do you allow for this diversity across other celebrations such as Diwali, Hanukkah or Lunar New Year?

 

  • Are there some events families would prefer your service didn’t celebrate?

 

Consider: sometimes families prefer to celebrate particular events at home as a family group – is this something you need to check in with them about?

 

  • Have you considered minority groups and their needs or just the majority of families who reflect the dominant culture? If you do this, what is the impact on those families and children?

 

Consider: what happens if you have families who don’t celebrate Christmas? How can you respect their beliefs?

 

  • Do you plan to give equal time to all celebrations or has the dominant culture/celebration taken over?

 

Consider: if the end of the year becomes all about Christmas, are you inadvertently disadvantaging some families and children? How does this support each child’s identity?

 

  • Have you considered religious aspects of end-of-year celebrations?

 

Consider: how can you do this respectfully? Have you sought input from families?

 

  • What role can children play in your end-of-year celebrations?

 

Consider: how can your plans reflect children’s voices and preferences? How are child- centred celebrations included at your service?

 

Need free help or advice? Your local Inclusion Agency can help you to enhance your cultural inclusion practices and support you to respectfully include all families and children.

 

This article was originally published in Embrace – a free magazine for educators, teachers and leaders. Get your copy now.

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